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Referencing and citations - OSCOLA: Referencing software

Introduction

Referencing software (or bibliographic software, or reference managers) are computer programmes which allow you to store numerous references and bibliographic data, and then insert said data into word processed documents in a variety of referencing styles. They may also be able to search across union catalogues and your institution's electronic resources to find articles and books which may be useful to your research, storing them all in one place with links. Whilst they can save you time, and allow you to store all of your references in one place, they can often be difficult to use, and some will still require you to reformat your references once inserted.

Referencing software works best when used from the outset, it will often be impractical to try and convert references you have already found into the software halfway through a piece of work or course of study.

OSCOLA have provided further information and help on its use with bibliographic software here <http://www.law.ox.ac.uk/publications/oscola_endnote.php>.

Sandra Meredith, one of the authors of OSCOLA has written an extremely useful article which discusses in detail the various pros and cons of the different systems, specifically as they relate to OSCOLA.

The article can be found:

Sandra Meredith 'Critical Review of Referencing Software when used with OSCOLA' (2013) 4 EJLT <http://ejlt.org//article/view/190>.

EndNote

EndNote is a citation and bibliographic information management tool. The software must be downloaded onto each workstation you use, and your library of references copied onto each station, either from a USB or DropBox.

It has 3 main functions:

1. Search tool - search databases for articles (or the catalog for books) using authors, keywords, titles, etc.

2. Reference database - this will help you keep track of your sources; they can be linked to their EndNote records so they're easier to find.

3. Bibliography maker - EndNote takes all the info from the databases and packages them as citations for you. The OSCOLA style is not one of the available citation styles, but can be downloaded for free from the OSCOLA website.

A useful tutorial, from the vendors, is available here http://endnote.com/training 

RefWorks

RefWorks is a web-based program that allows you to easily collect, manage, and organize all of your bibliographic citations.

Using RefWorks, you can

  • Add/import and manage citations for articles and other resources you use in your research
  • Create bibliographies in all major styles - OSCOLA should be available to select from the bibliographies tab - and export bibliographies as document types (Word, RTF, HTML, etc.)
  • Share your RefWorks library or specific folders with others using RefShare
  • Cite resources while you write using Write-n-Cite

For a complete guide to RefWorks from the vendor, click here:  http://refworks.libguides.com/content.php?pid=189730&sid=2463153

Zotero

Zotero is a free, open-sourced and web based citation manager. It is designed to store, manage, and cite bibliographic references, such as books and articles. It also allows you to attach PDFs, notes and images to your citations, organize them into collections for different projects, and create bibliographies. The OSCOLA style can be found under the 'documentation' tab on the Zotero website.

Zotero automatically updates itself periodically to work with new online sources and new bibliographic styles.

Further information, and a video tutorial from the creators, can be found here https://www.zotero.org/support/start

Mendeley

Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network, which can be used on or offline, and synced across your laptop, desktop computer and iOS mobile devices. It enables you to connect with fellow scholars either publicly or privately to share reading lists and work on assignments together.

You can us Mendeley to store all your documents and work in one place, annotate PDF documents and other work, and build up a searchable library of all your references, which in turn will generate your references and bibliography for you in a number of styles.

Mendeley can be downloaded free here <http://www.mendeley.com/download-mendeley-desktop/>.

Further information about using Mendeley can be found here <http://resources.mendeley.com/>.